Fringe Box



Letter: Not Considering Barge Transportation Is Another Missed Opportunity

Published on: 16 Jun, 2024
Updated on: 16 Jun, 2024

The Debenhams building in the 1960s. David Rose collection.

From: Ramsey Nagaty

Former GGG borough councillor for Shalford

In response to:
I Hope My Pessimism About the Debenhams Demolition Is Unfounded

My proposal to use barges on the River Wey to remove materials from the demolition of the Debenham’s building and deliver construction materials for St Mary’s Wharf was supposed to be seriously considered.

It’s a shame GBC officers and the developer failed to even discuss the idea with the National Trust’s Wey Navigation. Personnel there were in favour when I spoke to them but had not had any discussions on the subject.

The traffic plan involves lorries going through the Gyratory AQMA [Air Quality Monitoring Area]. Development is not supposed to be approved if it increases traffic through AQMA areas but I can see lorries causing massive disruption to the town centre and heavily increasing pollution.

Another opportunity missed to show consideration for the environment and residents.

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: Not Considering Barge Transportation Is Another Missed Opportunity

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    June 16, 2024 at 2:04 pm

    With regard to the utilization of barges on the Wey Navigation, two primary considerations arise.

    The first pertains to the availability of suitable barges that are smaller than traditional barges and can accommodate the bridge height clearance. The second consideration concerns the location of the unloading facility.

    Even if these challenges were addressed, the scheduling of barges and the time required for loading and unloading, despite the use of modern machinery, would result in a significantly longer duration for the project compared to the use of large dump trucks.

    While the concept is commendable, its practicality is questionable.

  2. Helena Townsend Reply

    June 16, 2024 at 3:00 pm

    Why on earth would we want tonnes of waste (some hazardous) being shipped on the River Wey. The fact that planners and Native Land have not discussed the ridiculous idea with the National Trust is no surprise.

    This isn’t a missed opportunity it would have been chaos and filthy. Native Land have provided a carefully considered and approved construction management plan. Even the way the strip out is currently being managed, carefully and slowly shows the right approach is being taken.

    Whilst it’s good to suggest alternative methods for disposing of demolition material it’s been made clear to this former councillor that his suggested method is not possible. To continue to criticise is poor.

  3. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    June 16, 2024 at 7:36 pm

    Transporting skips filled with demolition debris by barges would require enough headroom under the two bridges – Town Bridge and Onslow Bridge. The level of river is also crucial in determining available headroom. It would be difficult to have enough headroom during periods when the river level is high.

    There is also the question of double handling and increased costs when skips or even individually cut strips of concrete floors, beams and columns are transferred from barges on to the lorries on Walnut Tree Close.

    The operation needs to run smoothly as not enough room is available to store demolished materials on site. Therefore transportation by barges alone, even if it was possible to secure agreement of the parties involved, would require transportation by road at times when river level is high.

    Surrey County Council, the Highway Authority, I assume has assessed the effect of traffic management on Millbrook during the construction period and is content with the outcome. As there is already a problem with tailbacks on this road during peak periods and without a reasonable southern connection between the A281 and the A3100, delay and disruptions are going to be substantial. Has GBC been involved in the discussions with SCC? SCC has scrapped the committee that used to consult on these issues a while ago.

    I gather there will be marshals directing traffic when lorries enter and exit the site. It is likely all traffic movement will come to a halt when the lorries leaving the site need to turn left to go northwards towards the gyrator and their turning circle may need more room. Maybe there are restricted times when this can take place. Anyway, Guildford should expect delays and disruptions beyond that exist already for the duration of this project.

  4. Roger Main Reply

    June 24, 2024 at 8:46 pm

    I agree with Helen Townsend and totally disagree with the comments of Bibhas Neogi.

    Let’s be clear here, the developer will have a plan for the development of this site. Of course, there will be some disruption to traffic during the demolition and rebuild, as there was when I developed the building many years ago, a complete strip out and internal rebuild, over nearly a year, lorries coming and going etc.

    There were, as now, negative comments from various individuals and societies. Why? Yet again, other people know better.

    The site has planning approval, this is a fact. Let the developer get on with the job and let the various agencies manage the build as they are duty bound to do; that includes the local authority no matter what one thinks of them.

    I have written many times my support for this site having managed it for over fifteen years so I speak with some authority unlike others.

    This will benefit Guildford and the river. Move on please.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *